AS026 E-Skills for Enrolled Nurses


The New England and North West region is a remote and isolated country region that is (like many other regions) experiencing skill shortages within the health system of Enrolled Nurse professionals. With long term skill shortages within the Health Sector and chronic unemployment amongst Aboriginal communities exists , the New England Institute (NEI) in conjunction with Hunter New England Area Health, NSW Health representatives and the University Department of Rural Health - Newcastle have worked together to plan for the delivery of a training program for ten Aboriginal students in the Diploma in Nursing (Enrolled/ Division 2) Nursing.

The students have been targeted from an existing cohort of students who have successfully completed lower level training in health qualifications:
Certificate II in Health Support Services and
Certificate III in Health Services Assistance.

And who have demonstrated a passion for further studies and future employment in the local health industry. The Diploma in Nursing course will be delivered at Gunnedah Campus which is located approximately 100 kms from Tamworth where the students are from. The students have been undertaking very traditional face to face learning and the delivery at the Gunnedah Campus will incorporate face to face and e learning techniques.

  • Lead Organisation - TAFE NSW New England Institute - Gunnedah Campus
  • Partnership Organisation - Hunter New England Area Health and NSW Health

  • Project Summary
How will the project improve learner access to improve employment outcomes?
This project will develop and support the growth of practical skills for all students to be able to use tecnhnology as part of their everyday learning and future work practices. In accordance with the National Competency Standards 6.1, workers within the health industry need to be able to use health care technology to be able to accurately collect and report data in the workpractices.
The students will use Adobe Connect training sessions to learn the theory related elements of all unit of competence within the Diploma of Nursing on a weekly basis. This technology will be in a supported enviroment in the first instance but as skills and confidence grows the learners will be able to access their learning through central TAFE libraries and home computers away from the Gunnedah campus. Students will learn how to access web recordings, wiki and blog sites for revision of theoretical knowledge and examination preparation along with using the adobe site on a weekly basis for learning.

How does this project align to the jurisdictional and national priorities?
This project supports the Strategic Objective - 'use e learning to improve access to training for better employment outcomes' and targets Aboriginal students underaking a Health Diploma qualification from a rural and remote area. The training program for the students to underatke this Diploma qualification is supported by NSW Health and Hunter New England Area Health as the identify prospective future employees for their area.
Consultation with stakeholders
The idea for this training program was initiated through discussions with representatives from NSW Health, Hunter New England Area Health, University Department of Rural Health - Newcastle and the staff from the Human and Personal Services Faculty from the New England Institute of TAFE (NEI) .
Representatives from NSW Health and Hunter New England Area Health, met with the group of students who were studying the Certificate III in Health Services Assistance to discuss further training and career options.
Hunter New England Area and NEI staff have continued to talk to the Aboriginal students interested in this program and the students have undertaken an orientation day at the Gunnedah Campus where they have met the Nursing teaching staff, viewed the training facilities and discussed the delivery plan and course commitments needed to successfully undertake thie AQF 5 qualification.

Intended outcomes from your project

What do you hope to achieve with the funding?
Increased levels of students e learning skills to enable this cohort of Aboriginal students to successfully complete the Diploma in NUrsing (Enrolled/ Division 2) Nursing qualification. This project also familiarises the students with a broad range of e leraning resources, increases thier ability to access up to date health information and undertake research on line and assists students to meet ANMAC national competency standard 6.1

Actual Outcomes resulting from this project

What was done?
Students within a classroom setting undertook the majority of their theory learning via adobe connect sessions. The students were supported to access this e learning virtual classroom with a teacher in the classroom and the adobe sessions delivered by a vocational nursing teacher at a different location. Through this supportive environment students were able to increase thier individual technolgy skills at their own pace. Students were able to log into taped adobe sessions at home, revise their theory knowledge and access other e learning tools that they had been demonstrated within the classroom environment.
Below you can see students hard at work in an Adobe Class Session.

Here is the screen that the students can see on their computers.

Benefits experienced

Students have been accessing the following e tools individually that support their learning within the Diploma of Nursing qualification.

NEI Library guides - Nursing Lib guide
Website_Library_Nursing_Page.jpg Website_Library_Nursing_Page2.jpg

Additional e tools that support students revise their theory and practical skill knowledge.

DIIGO e learning resources

NEI_NeoK12.jpg NEI_Diigo.jpg

Lead agent: TAFE NSW- New England Institute
Partner(s) - Hunter New England Area Health and NSW Health
Learners - Ten Aboriginal Students

Reflections and Suggestions

Eluminate was an excellent way to network project coordinators across the national footprint. The monthly sessions allowed coordinators to understand the breadth of other projects and learn additional e learning skills and delivery strategies. The end of project workshop was invaluable.

Due to the student cohorts capacity to adopt e learning strategies that have complimented and supported their learning, we are reviewing the supported learning environment that was implemented within this project and how it could be incorporated in future courses.

Sustainability of project outcomes

Students are demonstrating their individual confidence in using technology through accessing NEI Web page during their clinical placement.
Students will also be accessing an adobe virtual classroom whilst undertaking their clincal placement one afternoon per week. This commitment from the students to this form of delivery supports the work that has been undertaken throughout this program and NEI is committed to supporting this group in a similiar way for the semester 2 2012.


Promotions throughout the local media has supported the sustainablility of this program. CLICK HERE to view the article on NBN NEWS


This is a an Access to Skills project output, developed by TAFE New England Institute with seed funding from the National VET E-learning Strategy.

For more information

TAFE NSW- New England Institute
Ellen Scanlon
Capability Consultant
Human and Personal Services Faculty
(02) 67 682061

For more information on
For more information on the Access to Skills program:
Phone: (08) 9229 5200